Cardinal Hlond Attacked Polish Jews in Pastoral Letter Issued in 1936, Urged Boycott

Persons here who have followed Polish events closely for many years pointed out today that Cardinal Hlond, although not counselling violence against Jews, had issued a pastoral letter in 1936 which said that “a Jewish question exists and there will be one so long as the Jews remain Jews,” and which attacked Jews as enemies of the Catholic Church.

“It is an actual fact that the Jews fight against the Catholic Church, they are free thinkers, and constitute the vanguard of atheism, Bolshevism and revolution,” the Cardinal wrote. “The Jewish influence upon morals is fatal, and the publishers spread pornographic literature. It is also true that the Jews are committing frauds, practicing usury, and dealing in white slavery. It is true that in the schools, the Jewish youth is having an evil influence, from an ethical and religious point of view, upon the Catholic youth.” He added, at this point, that “not all the Jews are, however, like that.”

The same letter advocated a boycott of Jewish businesses. It said: “One does well to prefer his own kind in commercial dealings and to avoid Jewish stores and Jewish stalls in the markets, but it is not permissible to demolish Jewish businesses. One should protect oneself against the evil influence of Jewish morals, and particularly boycott the Jewish press and the Jewish demoralizing publications, but it is inadmissible to assault, hit, or injure the Jews.”

In January of this year, however, the Polish Press Agency, the official news service of the Polish Government, distributed a statement allegedly made by Cardinal Hlond to a Jewish delegation which visited him in the city of Poznan, in which he was quoted as branding anti-Semitic outbreaks as “the criminal action of political plotters, who by attacking Jews fight the government.”

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